Much to my delight, ‘The Mending Chronicles of Liam and Emily’ divorce recovery handbook has been well received in my homeland, South Africa. I was born in the 70s and spent my childhood on the tropical East coast in KwaZulu Natal. Sun kissed and bare foot most of the year round, I was a true “banana girl”.
South Africa is an amazingly diverse country with an array of people groups and 11 official languages to match. I was raised in an English family but Afrikaans swirled around me as I learnt it at school as my second language and spoke it with my neighbourhood gang playing on the street or exploring the bushveld. Zulu featured as a third language and although I have little chance to develop it these days, I still have smatterings of vocabulary popping up in my mind at times. This always makes me feel happy, and I wonder if it’s because in my memories Zulu and joy always went together.
Presently, the Mending Chronicles is sold in South Africa at Books by Heart and Focus on the Family Africa bookshop. I started to receive queries about whether an Afrikaans version was available. Having only published in 2019, I hadn’t considered translation yet. I had only just got my head around marketing!
Afrikaans is one of the official languages of South Africa with 7.2 million native speakers. The Afrikaans community has a strong identity and rich culture with the Afrikaans language being the bedrock to their unique expression and values. It stretches into Namibia and is spoken there, along with other languages, but English is the official language.
We need it in Afrikaans!
An Afrikaans friend of mine from Cape Town, Lana Potgieter, purchased a copy of The Mending Chronicles and got in touch after reading it. “We need an Afrikaans Mending Chronicles,” she said, “what do we need to do to get it done?” It started to become clear to me at that point that I needed to take this a little more seriously.
I had a team of people who had worked tirelessly with me to produce the colourful and beautiful Mending Chronicles handbook. All of them are wonderful South Africans and are fluent in both English and Afrikaans, so working on an Afrikaans translation wasn’t going to be a challenge. My problem was how to pay them for round two.
Lana listened to me explain the difficulty I faced and immediately put on her leadership-coach-and-administrative-guru hat and found a solution. “I’ll raise all the money you need,” she said. “Afrikaans people will support this because they will see the need our children have.”
We are a third of the way through raising the funds for the Afrikaans translation project for The Mending Chronicles. Lana set up a crowdfunding campaign with ‘Back a Buddy’ in South Africa.
Lana Potgieter says, “Ek moet sê, ek was een van die wat gevra het, “Waar is hiedie boek in Afrikaans?” Want baie mense met wie ek te doen het, is Afrikaans. Meeste kinders het nie die woorde om te beskryf hoe hulle voel nie, en dit maak dit nog meer belangrik om die hulpbron in ons eie taal te kan lees.”
“I must say that I was one of those people who asked, “Where is this book in Afrikaans?” Because many of the people I deal with are Afrikaans. Most children don’t have the words to describe how they feel, and this makes it even more important to have this resource available to read in our own language.”
One of the things I feel is key to divorce recovery for children is emotional intelligence. A child who has the vocabulary and self-confidence to explain what is going on inside of themselves is an empowered child who can communicate successfully. This child has a better chance at receiving the help and support they need as well as processing their thoughts and pain effectively.
I had to find a translator to add to our team and what a great choice I had of remarkable people who could contribute to the success of this project. Marieta McGrath, an up-and-coming Afrikaans poet in South Africa, was chosen to do the translation. I am excited about such a talented person creating Liam and Emily’s story for Afrikaans children to read. Hope and healing for a divorce recovery journey will be available in their own language as well as a fantastic plethora of emotional vocabulary to draw from.
Please support us
We need to raise the final two thirds of the money to enable us to complete the translation project. The funds are being used to cover the costs of the team’s work (a translator, editors, artists and a designer), book set-up and an initial round of paid marketing on social media.
“Any child who works their way through this book will be empowered for life with the emotional intelligence and spiritual wisdom, not only to recover and survive divorce, but to thrive and to be as happy as they can for ever after!” says Kurt Kettner-Borough, pastor in Marbella, Spain. Soon we will be able to offer this hope to the Afrikaans children of South Africa.
UPDATE: This project was fully funded, much to our delight and gratitude. The Afrikaans version will be available in 2023.